Saturday’s independence rally showed how many of us would still vote ‘Yes’

One year on and still not happy


This Saturday, thousands of saltire-waving campaigners filled George Square in Glasgow to mark the one year anniversary of the Scottish independence referendum.

Organised by Hope over Fear, a pro-independence group founded by Tommy Sheridan, leader of the Solidarity party and disgraced former Scottish Socialist Party MSP, the rally attracted Scots from up and down the country.

The rally featured over 25 speakers and 19 live performers but, as the Sunday Herald reported, many key figures from the Yes campaign were absent.

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Some of the banners were exactly what you might expect to find at a pro-independence rally.

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Others were a little more confusing…
Red Tories Out
Over six hours the crowds were treated to speeches, music and even a bit of rap and a strong smell of weed regularly wafted around the square. Hope Over Fear had provided activities for all ages, there was a bouncy castle, a merry-go-round and face-painting for children while their parents listened to the speakers.

Many of the demonstrators had lots of Yes regalia. Like these chaps:

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Most tourists avoided the square, but some seemed happy to get involved.

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And these giant papier mâché models also made an appearance.
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We decided to speak to some Scottish students to find out their views on the rally, independence and politics, a year on from the referendum.

Rebecca & Taylor, Freshers at Dundee studying English

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Rebecca (left) and Taylor

Rebecca: “I was really disappointed last year. I’ve always wanted to come to George Square to see the Yes rallies. I’m blown away by how many people there are. I think it’s a shared passion for making the world a better place, it sounds kinds of cheesy, but I think it is in the end.”

Taylor: “I’m here because I was disappointed with the result last year. I’ve actually never been to one of these rallies before. I wasn’t expecting this atmosphere, I wasn’t expecting to have all these different aspects of the independence movement like socialism and Indyref2. When covering the referendum, the British-owned media were very biased towards the union. I think now we have things like the National things are getting better.

Blair, 21, Graduate from Queen Mary studying Event and Business Management

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I’m a keen supporter of independence. I’ve always come to the rallies through the summers, and its always been a good time. It’s a bit weird coming to one of these post-referendum.

I’d probably want to stay in Westminster if they got rid of nuclear weapons, became a republic and had a better voting system. I’ve decided not to join a political party just so I can keep my opinions fluid. I like the Greens and I like the SNP but you’re not supposed to join them both.

Logan, 18, HND Glass and Ceramics at City College & David, 22, Nursing at University of the West of Scotland

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Logan: “I can’t believe it’s been a year already, to feel that positive energy again is incredible.

David: “I voted Yes because we need a fairer democratic system and an alternative to the Tories and Labour, you couldn’t distinguish between them in the last election. I think the vast majority of my generation voted Yes.

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The referendum of 2014 delivered a solid win for the No campaign, but for many Scots returning to university this autumn, the independence question hasn’t been settled.